Sadly, before JP's head explodes, we cut to the reward challenge beach. A couple of long balance beams are set up above the water, just a few yards offshore. Jeff welcomes the Yasur tribe, noting helpfully that they're "nine strong." He points out the newly shrunken Lopevi tribe, and when the women ask who's gone, Jeff answers for the men that Brook was voted out at the first Tribal Council. The women ponder the significance of this, thinking, "Who's Brook?"
Both tribes line up in formation so that Jeff can explain the challenge. Each tribe member will have a number from one to eight painted on his or her arm, and then they'll line up on one of the balance beams in numerical order with his or her tribemates. Then number eight has to squeeze past each tribe member, one at a time, until he or she reaches the finish platform at the far end. Then number seven has to do the same, and so forth. Anyone who falls off into the water, or touches more than one teammate at a time, has to go back to the beginning and start over. The first tribe to get all eight on the finish platform wins. It looks fairly tricky, because that beam appears to be maybe twelve inches wide. And I can tell you that it is in fact tricky, because the challenge we're seeing tonight on this groundbreaking, culturally relevant reality show is nearly identical to one that I did as a team-building exercise with my co-workers back in 1994. Except we used a railroad tie in my boss's back yard and there were a lot fewer volcanoes around. Jeff unveils the reward and the women kvell; the winning tribe gets one hammock, two pillows, and three heavy blankets. And if Lopevi wins, they also get flint. Which seems to excite them a lot more than does the prospect of sharing one hammock. Scout sits out the challenge for Yasur. The tribes take position, and Jeff gives the order to begin.